Overcoming game dev resistance

Over the years, I’ve developed what I call the “We’re Guessing” voice. It’s this little whisper in my head, when I’m hip-deep in theory or debate over a feature, that says, “You’re guessing what will work. Prototype this.” If I’m working on a live game, it whispers something a little different: “You’re guessing what will work. Only real players can answer that question.” It stops any debate cold. I’ll actually say that and end a meeting, no matter how heated the debate: “We’re guessing, folks. What’s the fastest way to test this?”

There’s a great book I recommend called The War of Art. It talks about Resistance: the force that stops us from achieving our goals. The more important the goal is to you personally, the greater the Resistance. It’s behind all the distractions, the endless refinements, the idea shifting, and the circular “what if” arguments that keep us from building things and, more important, from finishing things.

How do you combat Resistance? I’d recommend reading both The War of Art and its follow-up, Do The Work because that’s how you overcome it. You sit down and do the work. It sounds simple because it is. I think the more challenging part is recognizing Resistance, in honing that “We’re Guessing” voice in your head. It’s subtle and devious, and can take 100 different forms that on their surface all seem rational and helpful and sometimes even necessary.

I’m adding a page to my blog called Overcoming Resistance Tips. I’ll add to it as I come up with new ways for you to recognize when you’re being pulled off-path. If you have any tips you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!

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